What’s it like on the road?

RiDE (UK) - - Used Bikes -

Flat­ter­ing. Whether you’re sat up, play­ing at rac­ers, head­ing off on hol­i­day or fil­ter­ing on a busy com­mute, the VFR does ev­ery­thing you ask of it, com­pe­tently, ca­pa­bly and smoothly. The er­gonomics will be fa­mil­iar to any­one who’s rid­den any Honda in the past 30 years or so — ev­ery­thing’s where you ex­pect it to be.

The han­dling’s good and there’s plenty of ground clear­ance for gen­eral rid­ing, though if you’re plan­ning a track­day you might want to add a bit of rear preload and tweak the forks to im­prove be­hav­iour on the brakes. Speak­ing of which, the new ra­dial caliper setup has a re­ally nice blend of power and feel, though some rid­ers don’t like the rel­a­tively long lever travel and soft feel. Best of all, it’s good rid­dance to the pre­vi­ous model’s linked brake sys­tem.

The en­gine’s the star though. You can hear and feel the VTEC kick in at around 7000rpm but there’s no nasty step, just pleas­ing progress from low-down two-valve man­ners to a snarling four-valve top-end. The de­liv­ery gives a choice of gears in most sit­u­a­tions but you might find a slight hes­i­ta­tion from a closed throt­tle, which can catch you out in sec­ond-gear cor­ners. It’s no worse than most mod­ern en­gines.

The VFR800 makes a great all-rounder with a stonk­ing en­gine

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